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The Metaverse is dead: or, money for nothing

the Metaverse is deadThe Metaverse is dead, haven’t you heard? It’s not ‘officially dead’ – yet – but for all intents and purposes, it has joined the long line of over-hyped and under-performing tech that was promised to ‘revolutionize everything’. Nothing like pumping over $100 billion into a project and then having it fail, is it, Mark Z.?

We’ve seen it before, of course. Remember Elevated Careers, the job board based on matching by the dating powerhouse eHarmony? It was promoted as the ultimate ‘matching’ site during a time when anything with the word ‘matching’ in it could attract both attention and funding. But somehow, it never really worked. Why? Well, matching is hard. But eHarmony spent a lot of money trying.

Then there was the rise of social media and the concurrent predictions of imminent demise of recruiting and job boards. Platforms like Facebook would displace the ‘old’ methods and job boards would disappear. Hmm. Tell that to Indeed, Seek, Stepstone, ZipRecruiter, and so on. Facebook gave up on jobs, Twitter is self-destructing, and LinkedIn was always just a job board on steroids. But a lot of money was spent!

Then it was programmatic’s turn, with predictions that 80% of all recruiting spend would be on programmatic by 2020. Ahem. Not exactly. It has most definitely grown over the years, and plays an important role. But is it recruiting’s Holy Grail? I don’t think so.

So, if the Metaverse is dead, what’s next? Why, it’s gotta be ChatGPT and its descendents, right? If the cycle follows the usual pattern – and I think it will – the ChatGPT proponents will overpromise, underdeliver, get lots of money for nothing, and then settle into a more sensible role as ‘another tool in the recruiting toolbelt’. Will there be value? Probably. Will it change ‘the world of recruiting as we know it?” I doubt it.

Think about it. Back in 2009 the common theme was that ‘job boards are dead‘ and that they’d been replaced by social media. Nope. Then it was ‘job boards are dead’ and they’d been replaced by aggregators, programmatic, and CPC. Not exactly. Then came social media, the Metaverse, matching, video, and many other flavors of the month. They all eventually established a foothold (well, maybe not the Metaverse) and found an audience. But let’s be real. The biggest players in recruitment today are two job boards (LinkedIn and Indeed), a search engine (Google), a bunch of staffing firms, and a host of secondary players, such as niche job boards, programmatic networks, and ATSs. I would posit that this has a strong similarity to the recruiting world in 2009, just with different players and technologies.

Yes, things have changed. Kinda sorta. There’s been a lot of money for nothing, though. So the next time everyone gets wound up about the next big thing in recruiting that will change the world as we know it, just remember: the Metaverse is dead.

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